Ireland's Peter Lawrie fired a three-under-par 69 in the second round of the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco on Friday for a share of fifth position going into the weekend at the Royal Golf Dar es Salam in Rabat.
The 42-year-old Dubliner traded off two birdies with two bogeys on the front nine to turn in level par but three birdies and no dropped shots on the back nine left Lawrie tied with American Daniel Im and South Africa's Daniel Lombard on four under.
The trio are two shots off Italian leader Francesco Laporta, with Spain's Borja Virto Astudillo, Australia's Jason Scrivener and Korea's Wang Jeunghun sharing second spot on five under.
“It was a good day and I played solid golf from start to finish,” said Lawrie after wards. “I have good memories of this course from a few years ago and that was a help in some ways. But it’s still a tough place to scramble a decent score.
“Yesterday I probably didn’t get the rub of the green as we had a few chances,” continued Lawrie. “But today was different and a few things clicked. So very happy to see the work I have been doing bear fruit.”
Kevin Phelan skipped back to level par and a tie for 25th position after carding a two-over 74. Walker cup team-mates Gary Hurley and Paul Dunne both carded 76 but it was still enough for both to make the cut, with Hurley on three over and Dunne just one shot inside the cut on four over.
Cormac Sharvin, another Walker Cup-winner from 2015, missed the cut after a 78 left him on seven over, while former winner Michael Hoey crashed out after a79 left him on 12 over.
Headfort’s Rory McNamara suffered a baptism of fire on his European Tour debut, a second-round 84 seeing him finish on 20 over.